DAYTON, Ohio - In a night abundant with record-setting performances, both individually and collectively, Cody Thomas and the Loons belted a franchise-best seven home runs in a 16-5 win over the Dayton Dragons on Thursday night at Fifth Third Field.
The 22-year-old Thomas produced the most prodigious single-game performance in Loons history, rewriting team single-game records in home runs with three, RBI with seven and total bases with 12.
Thomas' performance was further illuminated by arguably the greatest single inning in Loons annals: an 11-hit, 11-run first frame that began against a Major League rehabber, right-hander Anthony DeSclafani (L, 0-1) of the Cincinnati Reds. Thomas partnered with fellow slugger Carlos Rincon to hit home runs in back-to-back at-bats not once, but twice in the same inning.
The only other recorded instance of two players hitting consecutive home runs multiple times in one inning occurred at the Major League level on May 2, 2002 when Bret Boone and Mike Cameron went deep in back-to-back at-bats twice in the first inning of a 15-4 win for the Seattle Mariners over the Chicago White Sox at Comiskey Park II.
The Loons hit five home runs in the first inning alone, another new franchise benchmark, and three players bashed multiple home runs in the game: Thomas, Rincon and Jared Walker, who has five home runs in his last three games.
DeSclafani made his third rehab start of the season after the Reds placed him on the 60-Day Disabled List to start the season with a UCL sprain in his right elbow. He recorded just one out in the first inning before he exited after 23 pitches. The Loons tagged the three-year Major League veteran with eight runs and eight hits in one-third of an inning. Eight of the Loons' nine batters recorded a hit in the first inning against DeSclafani, who left the game with discomfort in his right forearm.
Righty Jesse Stallings relieved the beleaguered big-leaguer, but Thomas and Rincon homered in consecutive at-bats for the second time in the inning. The Loons tied a franchise record that dated to August 28, 2008 with 11 runs in a single inning.
The Loons extended their 11-0 advantage with their second multi-home run inning of the game. Walker homered off righty Moises Nova to lead off the top of the fifth, and Thomas followed suit with his record-setting third home run four batters later to make the score 14-0.
The Loons' 12 extra-base hits in the game (seven home runs and five doubles) was a franchise first and fell one shy of the Midwest League record, last equaled in 1996 by the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.
The lofty numbers made their way into Dayton's record book, too; the Loons (19-21; 55-54) became the first opponent to amass seven home runs in a game and 11 hits in a single inning against the Dragons (13-27; 54-56).
For the second game in a row, Dayton centerfielder Jose Siri extended his Midwest League-record hit streak in his final at-bat of the night. Now at 39 games, the longest in league history, Siri doubled to right-center field with the bases loaded in the eighth inning against Loons starter Jordan Sheffield (W, 3-7) to spoil the Loons shutout bid.
Sheffield allowed five runs and five hits in the game, but pitched into the eighth inning for the first time in his pro career. He equaled his career high with 10 strikeouts. After seven innings, the 36th overall selection in the 2016 Draft had allowed one hit and two total baserunners on 76 pitches.
The Loons aim for the series sweep on the road on Friday night at Fifth Third Field. First pitch against the Dayton Dragons is at 7 p.m. with pregame coverage at 6:30 on ESPN 100.9-FM.
The Great Lakes Loons are the 2016 Midwest League Champions and have been a Single-A partner of the Los Angeles Dodgers since 2007. Dow Diamond, home of the Loons, also houses ESPN 100.9-FM and the Michigan Baseball Foundation. For tickets and more information about the Loons, call 989-837-BALL or visit Loons.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.